“Greet the people next to you. That’s how we’re going to dismantle this racist system.” This is how our protest started. For those who have been wondering what it means to march for #shutitdown or #blacklivesmatter or other phrases without hashtags; for those who see the description “largely peaceful”–this is what “largely peaceful” means. It means you begin by finding a friend and promising to lookout for their well-being for the next three hours.
I’m going to give you the takeaway up front: these marches are a theological statement. The church–especially the black church–is so woven into these marches that they are a theological act. When we talk about “creative nonviolence,” it’s not sitting in an office writing books and praying. It’s getting into the streets and introducing yourself to a stranger. Continue reading